By: Sean Neidig, sports information graduate assistant
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Capital University Men's Soccer has bowed out of the Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament in the semifinal round following a heart-breaking 2-1 defeat to Ohio Northern University in double overtime.
With the game tied 1-1 at the end of regulation and after the first 10-minute overtime period, the final 10 minutes would decide who was moving forward in the conference tournament. ONU began the period with possession and methodically advanced it through Capital's territory down the right side of the field with Noah Bachwitz on the ball. Bachwitz carried the ball towards the corner before cutting inside and then passing it back to Beelal Hasan just a yard or two outside of the six-yard box. Hasan then gathered in front of goal and calmly shot it past Capital keeper Logan Wiedman and the ball nestled into the left side of the Capital net. As soon as he shot, Hasan raised his arms knowing that he had hit the game-winner just 51 seconds into the period for his second score of the contest.
The Polar Bears controlled play in both of the overtime periods with three total shots while the Crusaders did not attempt any. Wiedman was unlucky to allow the two goals on an otherwise stellar night between the posts as the senior made nine saves.
Ohio Northern came out of the starting gates on the front foot, a trend that continued for much of the first half. The Polar Bears attempted the first five shots of the game and controlled the pace of play until the Crusaders found a break to attack in. Senior forward Chewy Gordon headed Capital's first shot but it sailed over the crossbar in the 17th minute but it gave the Crusaders some attacking momentum.
Two minutes later, Capital earned a corner kick and Jamie Robson rifled the ball into the penalty box towards the far post. The ball carried Gordon close to the endline but the senior was able to control it in the air and volleyed it into the goal from an extremely tight angle. The goal was Gordon's 24th of the season but unfortunately for him and the Crusaders, Gordon was forced to leave the game with an injury just minutes after putting Capital in the lead.
The loss of Gordon robbed the Crusaders of their most explosive attacking threat but the Purple and White continued to push forward and enjoyed their fair share of shots to overcome the early deficit and tie ONU with 14 shot attempts each at a point in the second half.
Still, Ohio Northern was able to produce counters and breaks and in the 70th minutes the Polar Bears pulled level. A turnover by Capital near midfield gave ONU a perfect opportunity to break through and the Polar Bears moved ahead down the left side of the pitch. ONU then shifted towards the middle of the field and through the heart of Capital's defense to the right side. Capital kicked the ball out of bounds for a brief respite but ONU quickly sent the ball back towards Capital's penalty area. There the ball found Bachwitz who took a turn and sent a low-flying shot or cross across the goal face where Hasan got his foot on it and tapped it in for his first goal of the night.
In the game, Ohio Northern finished with a 22-14 advantage in shots and ONU, the conference-leader in corner kick attempts, had an 11-4 edge in those opportunities.
With the loss, the No. 1-seeded Crusaders bow out of the OAC Tournament and are owners of a 14-4 overall record. Capital will now have to wait until Monday, Nov. 5 at 1 p.m. to find out whether or not it has received an at-large bid to the NCAA Men's Soccer Championship tournament. The selection show and bracket reveal can be viewed on NCAA.com.